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Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts Hardcover – October, 1990

37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Beautiful desserts from Medrich's California pastry shops, which have gained a national reputation for their chocolate creations. Her famous truffles are here, along with elaborate cakes, tortes, and even a few nonchocolate desserts. Many of them are based on classic French pastries, but novice bakers will find the author's production tips and clear instructions valuable, and professionals may pick up a few useful shortcuts along with ideas for eye-catching presentations. Expensive, but recommended for most pastry collections.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; 1st edition (October 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446514195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446514194
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 79 people found the following review helpful By C.S. on October 20, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an absolute MUST HAVE for anyone who loves desserts and loves to bake. As a former pastry chef myself, I have well over 200 cookbooks, and this is one of the most well-written, best-tested baking books I own. As a matter of fact, I can only say that about 2 other books I have. I have made about 90% of the desserts in this book, and they have all turned out exactly like Chef Medrich describes and look exactly like the photos. How many baking books can you say that about? I can't begin to count the number of people that I have recommended this book to.
If you buy Cocolat for no other reason you should buy it for the "Building Blocks" in the back. If you have that section and follow her directions exactly, you will be able to create an endless number of incredible desserts. Chef Medrich's genoise formula, for example, is the most reliable formula for genoise I've ever used. That is a staple in my kitchen, along with her formula and method for french buttercream. And frankly, her formula for Chocolate Velvet Mousse is worth the price of the book all on its own. I use it for everything; filling for every type of cake, mixed with whipped cream for fillings for cream puffs, layered with sponge cake for chocolate trifle; I could go on and on. In my opinion, it's the finest chocolate mousse both in texture and flavor that I've ever eaten.
Marcel Desaulnier markets himself as the King of Chocolate, but he can't even begin to compare with Alice Medrich, who is in a class all by herself.
Chef Medrich, if you read this, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! You and Emily Luchetti are my baking mentors; you are a great chef and teacher.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 1997
Format: Hardcover
If you love things chocolate and like to make them, then this is the book you have been waiting for. Personally, my obsession is truffles. I have been searching for years for a domestic equivalent to the bittersweet truffles I used to buy at chocolatiers in Paris, but to no avail. Everything I could get in SoCal was either too sweet, too old, or not chocolatey.
Not so here. These recipes produce truffles just like the ones I remember from France: a grown-up treat, not the over-sweetened, over-flavored, dried-up disappointments we have imported or made here. I have only tried the recipes for truffles, but I plan to work my way through the rest of the book, recipe by recipe, the cakes and pastries too. Truffles are so easy to make! Excellent technical information on the handling of chocolate from a writer who is obviously sharing her inside tips. Do what Alice Medrich says, and you can't go wrong. Good mail order sources, copious (and luscious) photos and illustrations. Also, an inspiring and colorful story of someone with an idea who just couldn't let go of it no matter what. In an oversize format, the book itself is a pleasure in the hand and a literal feast for the eye. I plan to give it to friends for Xmas
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Wonderful book. I have tried about 11 of the recipes and all but one was beyond excellent. I have made stunning desserts that have more than impressed everyone. My one and only caution is that most of the main recipes in the book contain liqueurs. I don't find this a problem, but many people do. Even if you don't care for those types of recipes, still, buy the book. The back of the book lists "building blocks", everything from sponge cake recipes, mousse, fillings, glazes, etc. so that you can fabricate your own designer desserts.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Alice Medrich on February 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I am writing to thank Mr. Wu for his very enthusiastic review of my book. I would also like to assure him that I made all of the chocolate ruffles pictured on the cover and in the book by hand (with a spatula of course); they were not made by a machine as Mr Wu suggests. Mr. Wu might enjoy taking my class at Sur La Table or at Ramekins in Sonoma. Thank you, Alice Medrich.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Terrence Walsh on July 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, guys, here's a true story. I was hanging out in a chat room and mentioned a dessert from this book. I had been experimenting before getting online. Well, ALL the women started IMming me. Their public coments were on the order of "Stop it, I can't take it!" Their private, IM comments were more interesting.
Here's another story. A friend asked me to do a bunch of cooking for her retirement party. I showed her six desserts from this book, together with the absolutely edible pictures. Of course, I thought she'd want one or two. Nope. She wanted all of them! Well, hey, if you like to cook and the cookbook is foolproof, what else can you say but "Of course!" Eventually she scaled it back a little but by then I had made everything she asked for and tested them on the kind guinea people at the office. Five straight hits. FIVE!
One tip: If you make the Citrus Tart, on page 142, read the note about organic lemons and oranges. I tried it first with ordinary citrus. It was disappointing. On the second try, with the organic stuff, it sparkled. Hey, the note is right there to see. I'm just telling you this author has it together, so pay attention.
Kind of as an afterthought, I knocked out a batch of Meringue Mushrooms for the party but they didn't get out to the table on time. Later, discovering them untouched, I wandered around and let people have just one. It was wild to see some of the peculiar looks on some of the faces! Even better, though, was to hear the laughs of delight behind me as I took the few remaining `shrooms to the next table. Any food that makes grownups laugh with delight must have merit.
Thank you, Ms. Medrich. Some people think I'm sort of a chef. I hope they don't read this review!
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